Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is bringing back the Windows "Start" menu in the newest version of the operating system, TechCrunch reports. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains why it's a smart move in the following video.

First, the change comes at a good time. Microsoft plans to stop supporting Windows XP machines next week, which means -- without an upgrade -- upwards of 15% of the worldwide installed base of Microsoft-powered PCs could be at risk as of April 8. Adding back the Windows "Start" menu gives those on the fence yet another reason to move to the latest edition now.

Meanwhile, those who've been with Windows for years are being actively enticed to cheaper options, such as Ubuntu Linux. Call it a tough squeeze in an already-tightening market. Researcher IDC says PC shipments fell 9.8% last year and should continue to decline through 2018.

There's also the cloud to consider.  And Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) increasingly beefy line of cheap Chromebooks, which the company is outfitting with free or cheap productivity software. Giving longtime Windows users a taste of the familiar may curtail defections as new CEO Satya Nadella figures out a strategy for stabilizing the $18 billion a year Windows business.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you like Microsoft's move to bring back the Windows "Start" menu in version 8.1? Do you think it'll make a difference? Please leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google (A and C shares) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Google (A shares) and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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